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Meet Dr Chang – Yogamatters Weblog



Chang is a GP, life-style drugs doctor and yoga trainer. Her journeys in each drugs and yoga inform the opposite, believing we nurture well being by devoted consideration to our many layers – bodily, psychological, emotional, social and non secular. We caught up with Dr Chang to study extra about her Yoga and Wellbeing journey and why Yoga in Healthcare is so essential to her.

What time does your day begin?  

I get up round 6 am and often get going round 8 am. The early quiet hours of the morning are the sweetest.  If I begin the morning with a yoga follow I at all times really feel higher throughout the day. 

​Inform us a bit about you and your background?

I’ve been practising yoga frequently for about 12 years.  I discovered an Iyengar yoga trainer at my native gymnasium and he or she was the one who acquired me began on my journey.  I did my foundational trainer coaching in 2017 at Triyoga London, led by essentially the most unbelievable lecturers, Anna Ashby and Tony Watson.  I did the coaching to interact with yoga extra deeply and I didn’t know if I’d essentially train afterwards, however I did and right here we’re. 

I additionally work as an NHS GP in London.  So I’d describe myself as a part-time yoga trainer and part-time GP.  Yoga has saved me effectively and optimistic while working as a health care provider; over time I’ve seen how each fields are very complementary to one another.    

What’s a typical day like for you?

​It relies upon.  GP days are full-on, all day.  I simply get my head down and hold going till the day is over.  It’s a come-in-early and get-home-late sort of day to get by the workload.   I train yoga round my GP days, however attempt to not train too many lessons to get the outdated work/life stability proper.   

Whether or not it’s instructing or doctoring, the encircling preparation, self-reflection {and professional} growth requires a variety of effort and time.  So to do each I’m typically responsible of constructing life all about work or yoga.  I’m higher than I was – I used to pack an excessive amount of into at some point considering I might and may do all of it, however I’ve acquired higher at saying no and spending extra time doing little or no.  

Inform us about your yoga/wellbeing journey?

As a toddler, I used to be sedentary, obese and hated sports activities.  I used to be a fussy eater and had horrible again ache as a young person.  My college and junior physician years had been crammed with dangerous meals, an excessive amount of alcohol and loopy working hours.  Any train I did was extra out of a self-inflicted obligation to drop extra pounds and punish myself than for pleasure.   

Discovering yoga helped me construct a constructive relationship with train and motion for the primary time.  Steadily, I began to care much less about how I seemed and extra about taking care of my physique and protecting it robust and wholesome.  I credit score common follow because the driving drive behind higher selections to attain stability in so many areas of my life: what I eat, how a lot I sleep, with whom and what I spend my time doing – I very naturally started revisiting all my priorities.  Once you start that shift you realise you possibly can’t return, so it continues!  

Yoga has additionally influenced how I follow Drugs and my profession selections – I at all times thought that GP coaching taught me methods to follow holistically, however I believe years of practising yoga has truthfully achieved extra to alter my method to my sufferers.  By means of my very own experiences I’m obsessed with life-style drugs and advocating this in on a regular basis healthcare.   

I hate to run with a cliché, however in plenty of methods yoga actually has – modified my life. 

The place can be your dream place to put down your mat?

Wherever close to a physique of water.  If I might transport myself there proper now, it could be at my father or mother’s home in Suncheon (a southern city in South Korea) going through an enormous window overlooking a lake with the solar beaming by the glass.  It’s heat inside however I can scent the backyard exterior.  

Who or what evokes you each day and do you could have a mantra or quote do you reside by 

I like people who find themselves disciplined, courageous and couldn’t care much less what others consider them, in all probability as a result of I battle with these items myself.  However for me, there’s no single particular person; I imply it genuinely once I say day by day somebody totally different can encourage me.  Whether or not it’s a stranger or an outdated buddy, everybody has their distinctive presents – kindness, persistence, humour or a broad smile and that evokes me to domesticate these qualities too.   

The quote which I attempt to dwell by and have pinned on my wall is: ‘Within the state of affection, every part you do might be good’, Paramahansa Yogananda  

What’s your most memorable yoga second?

It’s not essentially a constructive second however the one which springs to thoughts is once I acquired right into a headstand in a specific class.  I wasn’t robust sufficient to do an extended maintain however did it anyway – my proper shoulder gave approach very all of a sudden and I had terrible neck ache for about 2 years.  It seeded an aversion for headstands for ages and I nonetheless battle with holding lengthy inversions.  It taught me a great lesson although – to be current and work the place I’m for that second.  This doesn’t imply I draw back from difficult issues, nevertheless it taught me to maintain my ego in examine. 

What’s most essential to you when it comes to your yoga providing?

That individuals really feel warmly welcomed; I hope that college students can really feel (even on-line) that my arms are large open.  However I additionally love to supply a problem not directly.  What I’ve appreciated a lot from my very own lecturers is that they’ve helped me to shift one thing in myself, whether or not a sure muscular or energetic motion within the physique or to convey consciousness to my habits, ideas and tendencies.  I don’t need my instructing to be so automated that somebody can change off, undergo the motions or just get a piece out.  I’d love folks to securely discover the boundary of their consolation zone as a result of working at that edge may give rise to new studying and perception.  

What’s the better part about being a yoga trainer?

Seeing the softness in somebody’s eyes and shoulders once they come up from Savasana offers prompt gratification. Past that second, seeing somebody embrace yoga and follow frequently is so rewarding.  I additionally love the sensation of being a part of an incredible motion of people that love yoga, see its worth within the fashionable world and wish to share that – our good yoga group.   

What’s the worst half about being a yoga trainer?

Advertising your self. You already know that what you might be sharing has worth and you need to anticipate to be paid for the service you present, however attempting to ‘promote’ it to others feels awkward and simply the bit I benefit from the least.  I’m fortunate to not depend on instructing yoga alone to make a dwelling however I don’t like the truth that many lecturers receives a commission so little and discover it tough to outlive while working very arduous certainly.  

What podcasts or books would you advocate? 

So many, however 3 books that come to thoughts in the present day are: 

The Physique Retains The Rating by Bessel Van Der Kolk is superb and essential – I really feel this e book is price studying for anybody with a mind and a physique, i.e. all people!  

That is Going to Damage by Adam Kay has been tailored for TV not too long ago, and jogged my memory that I loved the e book. It’s like a bizarre love letter to the NHS – equal elements comedy and tragedy – however I might relate to all of it a lot.  It offers an unedited sense of the overworked, undervalued surroundings medical doctors need to endure within the NHS and is related now greater than ever.   

Spark Pleasure by Marie Kondo.  Little bit of an odd one, however I believe the subject does pertains to wellbeing as a result of it encourages a reevaluation of your materials possessions.   

A couple of yoga books I’ve loved: Yoga FAQ by Richard Rosen, The Nice Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope, Meditation for the Love of It by Sally Kempton. Well being/Wellbeing books: Really feel Nice, Lose Weight by Dr Rangan Chatterjee (p.s. this isn’t a weight loss program e book, which is why I prefer it), Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. 

I’d additionally like to advocate a Youtube channel: Afternoonteawithdocs by Dr Linda Mizun and Dr Erica Lin, two colleagues who do an incredible job selling Life-style Drugs approaches to well being. 

What change would you prefer to see within the healthcare system/yoga trade?

A lot better emphasis on public well being and prevention.  If we all know prevention is healthier than treatment why do we discover it so arduous to take a position individually and as a society in prevention, as a lot as we do on the sharp finish of well being? We spend large assets in treating preventable illnesses – diabetes, heart problems, weight problems, even some cancers.   

What folks typically don’t realise is that it isn’t their fault once they eat poorly, don’t train, smoke and spend an excessive amount of time at desks.  Our techniques, environments, inequalities and tradition all affect the selections we make for our well being.  It’s simpler to prescribe a capsule and blame people for protecting dangerous life than to deal with the broader image (the broader or social determinants of well being).  Making the wholesome approach the simple approach for everyone should be the trail to significant change, and requires enlightened management.  

What’s additionally essential is that we have to give folks the chance to be empowered in their very own well being journey.  The fantastic thing about yoga is that it cultivates a self-awareness that nudges us in the direction of a stance of self-care (in addition to look after others) that’s profound and transformative in a sustainable approach.  So the mixing of yoga into mainstream healthcare in some method can be one other large one for my future hopes for the well being trade.  

Share your yoga providing, lessons, workshops, books, and so on

I’ve 2 on-line lessons at the moment open to all:   

Open Hatha Yoga, Saturday mornings with Yogamatters and  Restorative Yoga, Wednesday evenings.  I discover it so attention-grabbing that individuals are immune to resting and slowing down – so many people really feel as if we should be doing one thing on a regular basis. Restorative yoga is sort of the antithesis to this – studying how simply to be.   

I’m additionally excited to supply the wonderful Yoga4Health 10 week program with YIHA (Yoga in Healthcare Alliance) for NHS sufferers – coming quickly.  

What can be your recommendation to somebody simply embarking on their well-being journey

Begin with one small factor.  The street to good well being begins with one step.  In case you are caught, begin with one thing that feels manageable that you simply’re assured you can simply stick to- possibly sleeping quarter-hour earlier, strolling as a substitute of driving on a brief journey, reciting a mantra to be type to your self every morning.  One small change organically results in one other – a ripple turns into a wave that may set you in the correct course.    

Discover extra data and call Dr Chang right here.

For over 20 years, Yogamatters has been faithfully supporting yoga lecturers, yoga studio house owners and yoga practitioners around the globe. We’re right here to share tales and to assist your yoga journey whether or not which means taking the time that can assist you select your excellent yoga mat, bolster or sensible props or providing you the comfiest clothes fundamentals and necessities that can assist you circulate and develop.


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